Pollution by endocrine disrupting estrogens in aquatic ecosystems in Morogoro urban and peri-urban areas in Tanzania

  • Sijaona C. Msigala
  • Faith P. Mabiki
  • Bjarne Styrishave
  • Robinson H. Mdegela


This study aimed to assess the extent of pollution of aquatic ecosystems by endocrine disrupting estrogens particularly the ethinylestradiol (EE2), estrone (E2) and estradiol (E1). The study was carried out in Morogoro urban and peri-urban areas. The main sources of fresh water for domestic uses, fishing and agricultural activities in the study areas including the Mindu dam catchment area, Ngerengere and Morogoro Rivers were assessed. The endocrine disrupting estrogens in water samples were identified and quantified using competitive Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) kits. The recovery of estrogens in this study ranged from 65 to 90.22%, the range which is within the acceptable level. The levels of estrogens in Ngerengere River ranged from non-detectable levels to 0.68, 0.03 to 8.42 and 0.05 to 16.97 ng/L for EE2, E2 and E1, respectively. At Mindu Dam the levels ranged from 0.07 to 0.3 ng/L, 0.41 to 2.1 ng/L and 2.6 to 6.5 ng/L for EE2, E2 and E1 respectively. Furthermore, for Morogoro River the levels ranged from undetected to 0.92, 0.34 to 9.53 and 0.17 to 11.49 ng/L for EE2, E2 and E1 respectively. Mean concentrations in control samples and those in upstream and midstream of the rivers were comparable (p > 0.05). But the mean concentrations in downstream portions were significantly higher than those in control samples (p < 0.05). These concentrations however, were below those reported in other studies to cause harmful health effects. Hence, the extent of pollution was not significant enough to cause adverse health effects to aquatic organisms and human.

Key words: Ethinylestradiol, estradiol, estrone, micro pollutants, Ngerengere River, Morogoro River.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1996-0786
print ISSN: 1996-0786